Pedro Martínez is a proudly self-declared Bostonian.
The problem with this year’s Red Sox, he said, is that not everyone shares the same pride he does.
“We need to bring back the culture,” Martínez told Chris Gasper on “Boston Globe Today.” “We need to have people that are proud to wear the Red Sox [logo] and say, ‘I’m a Red Sox and I don’t want to be anything else.’
“Not that Chaim [Bloom] didn’t represent that — he did — but it’s just, this is a market where Bostonians are proud to be Bostonians. Bostonians are proud to say, ‘My Red Sox won today.’ ”
Martínez, who appeared on Boston Globe Today with his wife, Carolina, ahead of this year’s Pedro Martinez Foundation Gala on Nov. 11 at the Boston Park Plaza, pitched seven years in Boston. He won two of his three Cy Young Awards while in Boston, and in 2004 helped bring the Red Sox their first World Series championship in 86 years.
“We struggled, but I never pitched on an empty seat here in Boston,” Martínez said. “We had our hearts broken, but the fans did not quit. And that’s what they want to see in the players and they want to see in the front office. They want to see it in the coaching staff. They don’t want anybody quitting.”
In those seven years, the Sox never finished below .500 or worse than second in the division (their worst finish was 82-79, in 2001). But for a season to come together the way it did in 2004, Martínez said, it takes somewhat of a cosmic event, causing everything to fall into place at just the right time.
This year’s Red Sox weren’t lacking in talent, Martínez said. They just couldn’t find the right pieces when they needed them.
“This team had the players, some players with experience, but we didn’t have health in the pitching rotation when we needed it,” Martínez said. “We didn’t have the bullpen totally 100 percent when we needed it. And we didn’t have the hitting and the defense when pitching was going better.”
Whoever fills the front office vacancy left by Bloom’s firing this month will be tasked with filling those gaps and creating more consistency across the board, whether that’s in the pitching rotation, the bullpen, the front office, or elsewhere.
Is Martínez interested in the job? He didn’t give a firm answer.
“Right as you’re talking to me, I’m part of the Red Sox,” Martínez said. “But I also understand my fan base better than probably anybody, except for maybe Tim Wakefield. We know what having success here in Boston can feel like. We know exactly what needs to be done, and we know what we can do and what the players need to do.”
What would Martinez do if he ran the team?
“I’ll probably try to figure out how we can fill up all the inconsistencies we have and really check out what we have in the minor leagues,” Martínez said, “so we can build the franchise based on guys that are homegrown and proud to be a Bostonian.”
Watch the full interview below.